Assessing “Current State” in Your Safety Coaching

Reality Check: Discovering "Current State" in Your Safety CoachingIn our last issue we looked at the first step in the G.R.O.W. coaching model–establishing the goal. Once that goal has been established it’s time to find out where the person you’re safety coaching currently is in relation to that goal. We call this the “Current State Reality,” and it’s a critical step in the coaching process.

The Current State Reality

The reason this step in the coaching model is so important is because without it you really have no basis for agreeing that improvements need to be made in the first place. And, the way you determine that need is just as important. This has to come from them, not us. So we need to get the person we’re coaching to self assess:

“Tom, on a scale of 1-10, how well do you think you’re doing toward that goal?”

Allow them to give you their own perspective on how they think they’re doing. In most cases, their rating will be a realistic one. Now, you may disagree over the details of that rating (you may rate their performance as a “5” when they rate themselves as a “7”), but that’s not important. Don’t quibble about those kinds of differences. As long as they’ve left a gap between their current performance and a “10,” you’re good.

If they rate themselves a “10,” well that’s a different story. In that case it’s always good to have thought through this conversation ahead of time. Prior to the coaching session, think through counter examples that you can bring up if the employee thinks they need to make no improvements:

“Tom, are you sure you want to go with that 10? Just last week I observed you walking by some clutter on the floor and you just left it there for someone else to trip over.”

The point is, get them down to a realistic rating of themselves before proceeding to the next step in the coaching model. And be sure that rating comes from them, not you. This is important for ownership. Remember the maxim, “no one disagrees with his own ideas.” This principle needs to be the guiding light of the coaching conversation from start to finish.

That’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Be sure to view the associated video below to learn more about this step in the process. Until next time.


About the Author

Eric Svendsen
Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.